Marcelle Nienaber was born on the 31st of January 1997 in Pretoria. She started her preschool career at Kiddo Care Nursery School and at this very young age she showed an interest, apart from dolls, in aeroplanes and aviation. Since her dad works overseas, she communicated with him by drawing pictures of all types of aeroplanes and faxing it to him, which was very satisfying to her.
She attended Woodhill College for 7 years until grade 7, when she enrolled at Garsfontein Hoërskool for her high school education.
At the age of 15 (2012) she started flight ground school at Garsies Flight Academy which encompassed theoretical flight training. This academy is accredited to Professional Flight Centre at Wonderboom Airport. At the end of August 2012 she did her intro flight under the able guidance of her instructor, Morne Breedt, which deepened her interest and dedication to flying.
She started building her flying hours towards her Private Pilot license. After 10 hours of intense instruction and physical flights of 2 – 3 hours per flight, she underwent a dual check with an external moderator. These flights was combined with detailed briefings as well as personal inflight instruction from her instructor. During this period she was in the skies almost more than in school (grade 9), flying in the early hours of the mornings from 5 – 7 am and from 15h00 – 18h00 after school with the primary aim of achieving her self-confidence to ultimately fly solo.
On the 5th of January 2013 at the tender age of 15 she woke up under the firm impression of doing a dual check. The designated examiner Mr Robbie Robinson conducted this dual check and summarily declared her fit to solo.
Marcelle took to the skies after waving to her parents and anxious friends and family. After obtaining clearance from the control tower at Wonderboom Airport she took off in her Cessna 172 with high spirits and confidence. She completed the circuit within 15 minutes and started the decent for a perfect landing as the youngest woman pilot in South Africa to achieve this most outstanding feat. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHjn-8IDRxE)
After the hype of the solo flight, she continued to fly. She obtained her PPL on the 7th of February 2015! She completed her night rating September 2015.
She also completed her CPL subjects and is now in the process of building hours towards her CPL to be obtained (at age 19) later this year. (2016)